|Pommes Anna (final plating)|
2 pounds Russet potatoes (about 2 large)
6 tablespoons Clarified Butter (recipe follows)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450
Peel the potatoes. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/16-inch slices. Place the slices in a bowl of cold water for a minute to remove some of the starch, then drain and dry the slices on paper towels.
Put 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter in an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet (I use a seasoned 8 inch cast iron skillet). Place a slice of potato in the center of the pan. Lay more potato slices around the edge of the pan, overlapping them by half, until you have completely circled the pan. Depending on the size of the potatoes, continue with another overlapping circle of potatoes inside the first. When the entire bottom of the pan is covered, sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the potatoes and repeat the process to form a second layer. Make another two layers of potatoes, seasoning the first layer with salt and pepper. Make two more layers and season with salt and pepper.
Note: you can continue layering until you use all your potatoes.
Pour the remaining 1/4 cup clarified butter over the potatoes and place the skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter begins to bubble, cool for 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to be sure that the potatoes are not sticking. Use a spoon or heat proof spatula to gently shape the top and sides of the potato cake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are well browned and crisp. Carefully drain excess clarified butter from your skillet using a spatula to hold the potato cake in the pan while pouring out excess butter. Invert the potato cake onto a board or serving platter. Pommes Anna can be prepared 2-3 hours in advance of service. Place in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes to reheat.
|Pommes Anna after 30 minutes at 450 degrees.|
Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan. Do not stir. Once it is completely melted, use a spoon to carefully scrape off the top, frothy and white layer. What remains is clarified butter, which can be used to cook at very high temperatures without sticking or burning. Clarified butter can be prepared and stored refrigerated for long periods of time.